On January 26, the 61 meter long towboat Cooperative Spirit collided with the 22 meter long towboat RC Creppel on the Mississippi River off Luling, Louisiana. The Cooperative Spirit proceeded upbound on the river when it struck the RC Creppel and two barges ladden with sulfuric acid. The barges broke away and the RC Creppel quickly sank. One barge sustained damage and released vapor in the air. The Cooperative Spirit also reported significant damage, but remained afloat.
Authorities were alerted and the Coast Guard dispatched a response boat and a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from New Orleans. Traffic on the Mississippi River was halted while the barges could be secured while searching for the four crew of the RC Creppel. One crewman from the RC Creppel was pulled from the water by a nearby boat.
Authorities continued a search into the following day, but no signs of the remaining 3 crewmen. Reports state the search and rescue operation finally ended after 67 hours of searching. The Coast Guard has launched an investigation into the incident.
The 224 meter long, 76598 bulk carrier Pictor ran aground on the Mississippi River near Pilottown, Louisiana. The bulk carrier remained aground for several hours until it was refloated. Reports state the Pictor was en route to New Orleans from India. No reports of injuries, damage or pollution released.
On September 12, the 30 meter long, 218 gt towboat Jacob Kyle Rusthoven caught fire on the Mississippi River at mile marker 664 near Helena-West Helena, Arkansas. The towboat was pushing 9 barges loaded with rocks when the fire broke out in the vessel’s engine room. The crew was unable to contain the blaze and sent out a distress call. A nearby vessel came to their and evacuated the crew. The Jacob Kyle Rusthoven was then pushed to the Arkansas shoreline where local fire fighters were able to extinguish the blaze 7 hours later. No reports of injuries.
The Coast Guard had stopped nearby traffic on the Mississippi River during the incident. Reports state the Jacob Kyle Rusthoven had some 13,300 gallons of diesel fuel on board at the time, but no pollution was detected. Authorities stated that 3 of the rock barges had broken free during the incident, but were later recovered.